Microdramas will be required to undergo filing procedures from June

On 9 April Xinwaner, a media outlet specialising in microdramas, reported that according to the latest announcement from the National Radio and Television Administration, microdramas must undergo auditing and filing procedures starting from 1 June.

This information was verified by Southern Metropolis Daily through interviews with the Radio and Television Administration of Yunnan Province. Microdramas will be categorised into three groups—”key, ordinary or other”—based on investment volume and subject matter, with each category requiring a different filing process.

Dao has previously covered microdramas in past articles, which are web series with episodes between under a minute to 15 minutes each. According to the report released by China Internet Network Information Centre, in 2023, the number of microdramas registered reached 3,574, marking a 9% increase compared to the previous year. Additionally, according to the China Microdrama Market Research Report, the market size of microdramas reached 37.39 billion in 2023 and is projected to surpass 50 billion in 2024.

The rapid rise of the microdrama industry has furnished numerous brands with fresh marketing ideas. The 2023 Kuaishou Microdrama Value Report indicates that last year, the platform launched over 90 commercialised microdramas, with more than 35 brands collaborating, primarily in the beauty and skincare, e-commerce, and food and beverage sectors. On Douyin (China’s version of TikTok), the five microdramas released by beauty brand KANS amassed a total view count of 5 billion. The ‘KANS Red Barbarian Waist Gift Box’, featured prominently in these microdramas, and sold 2.9 million sets in the first three quarters of the previous year.

Platforms are also getting in on the hype. On 10 April, Douyin issued a notice regarding the crackdown on illegal microdramas, emphasising the platform’s efforts to combat content that promotes negative values, violates public order and morality, and indulges in inappropriate themes.

The implementation of new microdrama filing regulations may extend to the online production cycle of microdramas, heightening uncertainty regarding return on investment. However, according to microdrama producer Liu Kaiping, the introduction of the new regulations will make it more challenging to produce explosive content, but there will be more boutiques available.


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